Essay by moman77High School, 11th grade June 2005

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Krakatau, one of the most active volcanoes on Earth in the 20th century, is located between the islands of Java and Sumatra in the Sunda Strait of Indonesia. Located in the most active volcanic country in the world, Krakatau is not only one of the most deadly volcanoes ever, but continues to be one of the most publicized, monitored volcanoes in the world. Although thousands of people have died from its eruptions there have been no changes in the way people settle in the immediate area.

Categorized as a caldera volcano, the original Krakatau edifice is believed to have erupted and collapsed at around 416 CE, which formed a 7 kilometre wide caldera. There are remnants of this ancestral foundation on the surrounding islands of Verlaten and Lang, which are actually the highest points of Krakatau's crater, and are higher than sea level, so they appear to be islands. The 1883 eruption caused the summit of the volcano to be blown off the foundation and dispersed around the world as ash, particles and tephra.

The subsequent foundation has been constantly building up to produce Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatau), only until 1927 has Anak Krakatau been large enough to be seen above sea level.

Krakatau's largest recorded eruption occurred on August 26, 1883. A sample of its destructive power is the forty metre tsunami wave caused by the eruption, when the wave hit, a Dutch Steamship anchored at a nearby harbour was thrown two and a half kilometres and washed up on a river bank, however, that was not the only loss. 36,000 people died as a result of the tsunami waves that pounded the Sumatran and Java coasts. The eruption produced an eruption column of more than 80,000 feet, scattered dust and ash as far as New York City...